Before we began, the exterior of the home was a mix of siding and spray-on plaster:
Both of these finishes are high maintenance (you end up with cracks, you have to repaint, etc). Thus, we chose to redo the exterior with “smooth-trowel” stucco, which is low maintenance and has very clean look.
Since I know you are dying to learn the ins and outs of installing stucco :), here’s a quick overview:
Applying stucco (also referred to as plaster) requires adding several layers of differing materials:
In this instance, we took down all of the siding and spray-on plaster. We put up plywood (“wood sheathing”) where necessary. Next, we added the building paper and metal lath. The building paper helps to keep the wooden structure behind it dry, and the lath provides support for the coats.
Then, we applied the “scratch” and “brown” layers. The scratch coat embeds the metal lath and provides a base for the brown coat. The brown coat covers the scratch, and creates a plane surface for the finish coat.
Lastly, the finish coat was applied. The color is already mixed into the stucco, and when it dries, you get the color of your choice.
The finished product!